Categories
Travel Industry Travel News

United Announces New Basic Economy Class

Though not completely unexpected, United Air Lines announced their new basic economy class last week. With Delta’s economy class running since 2012, and American Airlines revving up for their new class, this was not a huge surprise. With many of the same low-budget priorities, there is one restriction of United’s basic economy class that made the travel community do a second glance.

United’s no-frills basic economy class

An exciting change for the budget-conscious flier, United can now offer lower priced seats on some of their existing flights. This puts United in competition with no-frills airlines, such as Spirit or Frontier. With this limited structure comes a few restrictions. First, basic economy fliers won’t be able to pick their seat. With this come no guarantee that they will be able to sit with their companions. Voluntary flight changes won’t be allowed, and basic economy fliers will be the last to board the plane. In regards to travel points, fliers will accrue Milage Plus award points, but they will not go toward elite loyalty status.

But, the limitation that’s creating commotion is in regards to baggage. Basic economy fliers are allowed only one carry-on and will not have access to the overhead bins. Their carry-on will have to fit under the seat in front of them. United believes this will save time with onboarding procedures and decrease delays.

This is all part of United’s attempt to diversify and customize the experience for their differing fliers. But has this gone too far? With United also recently announcing their Polaris business class, I can’t help but feel the disparity as if aboard the Titanic. The Polaris class offers roomy, adjustable seats with down pillows and noise-canceling headphones. While their basic economy offers a carry-what’s-on-your-back mentality and limited guarantees.

What do you think of the newly announced basic economy class? Will you be booking them? Do you frequently travel with limited luggage? Let us know in the comments below.

Categories
Travel News

Air France and KLM Modify Various Joint Baggage Policies

An update from Delta regarding baggage policies on Air France and KLM:

(April 12, 2012) – Effective for tickets issued on/after April 16, 2012, Air France and KLM are modifying their joint baggage policy. The changes will further align the Air France and KLM baggage policies with Delta’s baggage policies. Some changes are in compliance with DOT EAPP requirements.

Golf Bags: Effective for tickets issued on/after April 16, 2012, a golf bag will be counted as a “normal” piece of baggage as part of the free baggage allowance. Flying Blue Golf Club members will continue to be able to check-in a golf bag for free as an additional piece of baggage not counted as part of the free allowance.

Bicycles: Effective for tickets issued on/after April 16, 2012, a bicycle will be counted as a “specialty” item which is charged as an additional item over the free baggage allowance. Specialty items are charged regardless of whether or not the customer has any checked bags. Charges for excess weight apply for bicycles weighing more than 23 kg (50 lbs).
Surfboards: Effective for tickets issued on/after April 16, 2012, surfboards between 107 cm and 200 cm in length (between 42 in and 78 in) will be counted as a “specialty” item which is charged as an additional item over the free baggage allowance. Specialty items are charged regardless of whether or not the customer has any checked bags. Charges for excess weight apply for surfboards weighing more than 23 kg (50 lbs). Surfboards less than 107 cm (42 in) in length will continue to be counted as a “normal” piece of baggage counted as part of the free allowance.
Charges for Specialty items: In compliance with DOT EAPP requirements, the charge for transporting specialty items will be USD 150 departing from the USA and EUR 105 departing from Europe.
Currency change: To comply with DOT EAPP requirements, for tickets issued on/after April 16, 2012, the fees for excess baggage in African markets using the XAF or XOF as local currency will be based on the USD equivalent instead of the EUR equivalent
The 2-piece exception in Economy class: The 2-piece exception allowing economy class travelers traveling between the USA and Canada, and certain destinations in Central and Western Africa to travel with two free pieces of baggage (instead of the standard allowance of one piece) has been extended for travel to/from N’djamena, Chad (NDJ) and Malabo, Equatorial Guinea (SSG), effective for travel on/after April 16, 2012.
For complete Air France baggage information, visit airfrance.com.
For complete KLM baggage information, visit klm.com.
For complete Delta baggage information, please visit delta.com.